25 Oct 2020 in Match Reports
Albion are still without a home win all season after suffering another setback in their 3-2 defeat to Tow Law yesterday afternoon...
RACA 2-3 Tow Law Town
Tow Law avenged their 3-1 defeat at Ironworks Road last month with a 3-2 win at Kingsley Park to put another dent in Albion’s season.
Goals from Mason Hurworth and Michael Brown cancelled out Scott Jasper’s opener to give the Lawyers a half-time advantage. Barrie Smith doubled the visitor’s lead from the spot before RACA skipper Callum Turnbull headed home to make a game of it with 10 minutes to go. Tow Law held on to secure a big three points that fire them up to sixth in the table.
Albion had to cope without manager Mark Bullock and assistant Connor Jennings for this fixture due to COVID-19 isolation guidelines, so it was an unfamiliar dugout containing some not-so-unfamiliar faces in the temporary hot seat as U17s coach Malcolm Connelly took the reins alongside committee members John Thompson and Don McCloud.
The first decent chance of the game saw RACA take the lead on 10 minutes when Lee Richardson punted the ball through to Jasper. Albion’s number nine did the rest as he tucked away ruthlessly on his third debut for the club.
Moments later saw the games first bit of controversy as Lawyers’ Barrie Smith recklessly fouled Turnbull inside the Albion area. He received a yellow card but can count himself lucky not be shown an early exit.
Making the game physical must have been Tow Law’s gameplan with Jasper and Shanley finding themselves on the wrong end of brutal challenges in the games opening stages. The referee was struggling to get a grip on the match with the sound of his whistle proving to be the ringtone of the afternoon.
A quick turnaround on the scoreline began on the half-hour mark when Brown was brought down by Joe Shepherd. No free-kick was given which caught the RACA backline napping, and they ultimately paid the price when Hurworth found himself free as a bird to tuck home from close range.
The comeback was complete just minutes later when Brown beat Albion goalkeeper Josh Graham to a through ball. His cool finish into an empty net gave the Lawyers the lead at the break despite arguably being the poorer side.
Tow Law maintained their brutish tactics in the second half as Richardson also went into the referee’s book for a clumsy challenge. The tall, imposing number seven was the embodiment of his sides gameplan as he made his presence known to his midfield counterparts throughout the match.
The visitors had a golden opportunity in the 57th minute when Knowles blazed a header over the bar at the back post. He failed to keep his composure and get the goal he deserved - with the wideman one of the most dangerous players on the pitch all afternoon.
A double substitution for Albion on the hour mark provided a more direct approach as Sherrard and Anderson were introduced for Richardson and Shanley. The latter impressed with his hold up play when he came on and could forge an effective partnership with Jasper upfront.
Just as Albion looked to press for an equaliser disaster struck when Outterside clumsily brought down Brown inside the area. Smith stepped up and sent Graham the wrong way to put the Lawyers into a commanding position 15 minutes from time.
With five minutes left on the clock, Outterside made up for his mistake as his corner found the head of Turnbull at the back stick. The skipper buried home unmarked to give his side a glimmer of hope of rescuing a point.
Unfortunately, it proved to be too little too late for RACA as they succumbed to their eighth defeat of the campaign after just 13 matches. This game was a story of fine margins with all three of Tow Law’s goals coming from poor defensive judgement and, on a different day, a contrasting scoreline could have unfolded.
One positive from yesterday’s performance was the re-emergence of former captain Scott Jasper. The supporters on the Kingsley Park terraces were thrilled to have the striker back in the side and he rewarded their faith in him by scoring a prolific opener. His leadership and ability in front of goal will be pivotal for the remainder of RACA’s season.
Starting XI: J Graham, Below, Shepherd, Turnbull, Moody, Davis, Backhouse, Outterside, Shanley, Richardson, Jasper
RACA Fans Man of the Match - Scott Jasper